WASHINGTON, D.C. – Steve Sharp, of the Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation and President of Consumers United for Rail Equity (CURE), made the following statement today regarding the Surface Transportation Board’s (STB) decision on shipments of fertilizer in the upper Midwest (Docket No. EP 724).
"We applaud the Surface Transportation Board’s decision requiring reports from the rail industry on its plans to ensure delivery of fertilizer to farmers in the upper Midwest," said Sharp. "It’s in the best interest of all parties to ensure that farmers have all the necessary inputs to produce a crop during the upcoming growing season."
The STB order stated: "Given the immediate need for fertilizer to meet rapidly approaching planting deadlines, and the potential long-lasting and widespread effects of missing those deadlines, the Board, pursuant to 49 U.S.C. § 721(b), will direct the Canadian Pacific Railway Company (CP) and BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) to each report, by April 18, 2014, their plans to ensure delivery of fertilizer shipments for spring planting of U.S. crops. The Board will further direct CP and BNSF to each provide weekly status reports over the next six weeks, beginning April 25, 2014, regarding the delivery of fertilizer on their respective networks."
CURE testified before the STB on April 10, 2014, urging it to take proactive steps toward ensuring commodity delivery and holding rail carriers accountable for service deliveries.
CURE is an advocacy group that represents a large cross section of freight rail customers who are dependent on freight railroads for their transportation needs.